Fitch Ratings has affirmed Ukraine's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at "B-" with a Stable Outlook.

Ukraine's continued engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should mitigate near-term financing risks given rising sovereign debt repayments starting 2019 and the 2019 elections, Fitch Ratings said.

On October 19, Ukraine and the IMF reached a staff level agreement for a 14-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) which replaces the March 2015 four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The government obtained parliamentary approval for the 2019 budget (first reading) with a deficit target of 2.3% of GDP and raised household gas prices by 23%. Fitch expects the IMF's board to formally approve the programme after the final budget approval.

Fitch also expects Ukraine's general government deficit to reach 2.5% in 2018.